book club or snack club?
July 31, 2014
A neighborhood book club one of us joined has three unwritten
rules: come comfy, it doesn't matter if you've finished the book
and come hungry. We found that saying this eliminated a lot of the
stress that comes with one more thing on your calendar.
Book club shouldn't be an obligation, but a welcome chance to
get out, see friends, talk about characters you love and love to
hate and munch on something tasty.
That doesn't mean it needs to be fancy. Too many of us have
gotten trapped in the shame spiral of worrying that our kitchen
isn't spotless or we didn't whip something up from scratch. No one
cares. Hosting book club is not a competitive sport. Read that last
sentence again. Really, it's not.
Our discussions begin with the book, but even when we've all
read it, we can veer off point and back again in a matter of
minutes. Plot, setting and analyzing why she decided to turn and
walk out of the front door at the very end can give way to
discussions of in-law visits, great babysitters, a not-so-great day
with a toddler, construction and summer plans.
Some book clubs are about sticking to the book. Others let
things go where they will. But all book clubs seem bound by
Because they're more than food, they're social watering holes,
the residential equivalent of the corporate water cooler, the
common denominator. We bond over food and common experiences. And
some of our best conversations can happen when we're talking with
our mouths full. That doesn't sound quite right, but you know what
So fire up your summer book club with 31 Great
Summer Books from RealSimple.com or The 2014 Summer Reading
Shelf from Goodreads.
For newbies looking to pull their group together, try How to Start a Book
Club or 14 Ways Not to Kill Your
Book Club for ideas on how to keep a successful group going,
both from Oprah.com. These are guides and suggestions, not
mandates. Your book club is your book club and you should do what
works best for you and your group.
And if that means opening 5
bags of chips while you all sit cross-legged on the patio
furniture in your pool cover-ups, sipping a big batch of lemonade
and talking about the books you half read and the summer vacation
spots where you swore to finish them, then so be it.
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